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Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

{Originally posted on Breitbart,com}

The Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case concerning the rights of a woman to wear hijab, a headscarf, while working at Abercrombie and Fitch. This case began in 2008, in Tulsa, Oklahoma on behalf of then seventeen-year-old Samantha Elauf and is known as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc.

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France banned the burqa (a head, face, and full body covering). To do so in a religion-neutral way, they banned “face masks”  and all other religious insignia. France also banned hijab (a headscarf) in certain settings such as public schools for both staff and students and for those who “deliver public services.”

In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the French burqa ban. Other governments (Denmark, Germany, Turkey, Russia, China) have also banned the headscarf in school or in general. Yes, even Turkey– although, paradoxically, it has begun to force more children into religious schools where hijab is mandatory.

In this case, it is our own federal government which has brought the suit against Abercrombie and Fitch, Inc.

At least ten “friends of the court” briefs have been submitted by religious and civil rights organizations, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Jewish Committee, the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations aka the Muslim Brotherhood in America and the un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit.

The issue is framed in this way:

Whether an employer can be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a ‘religious observance and practice’ only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required and the employer’s actual knowledge resulted from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee.

Similar right to wear hijab cases have been brewing all across America for the last decade.

In 2004, the U.S. Justice Department supported a lawsuit brought on behalf of a sixth grade student in Oklahoma who wanted to wear hijab in her public school. That same year, the school reviewed their policy, amended their dress code, paid the student an undisclosed sum, and allowed her to attend classes wearing hijab.

In 2006, in a small claims matter in Michigan, a Muslim woman, Ginnah Muhammed, refused to take off her face mask (niqab) while she testified. Judge Paul Paruk dismissed her case. Muhammed sued, and the ACLU backed her. They argued for a “religious exception” to courtroom attire. Although Muhammed’s small claims case was against a car rental agency, here is what Michael Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan stated:

The Michigan Supreme Court should not slam the door of justice on a category of women just because of their religious belief…Under the proposed rule, women who are sexually assaulted do not have their day in court if they wear a veil mandated by their religion.

Sexual assault was not at issue nor was the victim afraid that testifying might lead to her death. Leave it to the ACLU to almost always get it wrong.

On June 17, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court, in a 5-2 vote, ruled that a Judge had the power to “require witnesses to remove head or facial covering as (the witness) was testifying.”A Judge has the right to see a witness’s “facial expressions” to determine her “truthfulness”while she testifies.

Both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have gone to court in Florida (2002), California (2005), Michigan (2008), and Oklahoma (2008) to fight for a Muslim woman’s right to cover her hair or face—whether it is while being photographed for a driver’s license or for a police mug shot or while working at McDonald’s or at Abercrombie Kids.

In 2007, CAIR wrote a letter on behalf of a Muslim woman in Georgia who refused to remove her headscarf in order to enter a courtroom to plead “not guilty” to a traffic ticket.

Religious Muslims are outraged that Christians can wear crucifixes, nuns and priests can wear habits, Jews can wear skullcaps or wigs and head coverings, Sikhs can wear turbans, Hindus can wear veils and saris, but Muslims cannot wear hijab, burqas or niqab.

They have a point. The face mask (niqab) and the burqa (ambulatory body bag) mask all five senses and make human interaction impossible. But what’s wrong with hijab (a head covering)?

Over the years, I have interviewed a number of religious Muslim women who are completely westernized, educated, modern, and certainly anti-Jihad. They “cover” their hair for religious, ethnic, and feminist reasons. It is a statement of “who they are” and what they believe in. This sometimes includes a desire to publicly signify a belief in God and to separate themselves from a secular, promiscuous world in which women dress provocatively.

Religious people do not want the government telling them how to dress or limiting their religious practices. Many secular feminists have viewed Islamic “coverings” as either a Muslim woman’s religious right or as her culturally sanctioned expression of modesty. In addition, many progressives see the ban on the burqa (not to mention discrimination against hijab) as a form of “racial profiling,” or as “Islamophobic.”

I am on record as calling for an American ban on the burqa (face mask, ambulatory body bag) as a violation of woman’s rights and a health hazard. Dr. Daniel Pipes is on record about the burqa being a national security risk. A head covering is more problematic. The Qu’ran mandates “modesty” for both men and women. Mullahs have interpreted the hadith as requiring women to cover their hair.

However, some people fear that if America legally accepts hijab in the public square that doing so may represent the proverbial “nose of the camel.” Once the camel’s “nose” is permitted in the tent, soon enough, the demands for halal food, separate classes for boys and girls, separate swimming facilities, breaks for prayer, and the recognition of Muslim holidays in public, tax-funded public schools and in government employment may soon follow.

Some counter-terrorism experts fear that permitting what is Arab and Islamic clothing on the job, at school, in the United States at this time in history may not be the same as allowing a nun, a priest, a rabbi, or a religious Jew or Sikh to wear a head covering. Why? Because no other religious ideology calls for supremacy over infidels or for violent Jihad against infidels and against other Muslims who do not adopt extremist views. None of the other religions mentioned views the state and religion as one or views non-co-religionists as “kafirs,” infidels, whom Muslims are supposed to dominate, tax, persecute, and convert via the sword. Islam is also the only religion among them in which believers are commanded to kill all those who leave the religion. In addition, since global Jihad is upon us, permitting head coverings at work may frighten or offend some customers and may not comport with the expected dress code on the job.

I am not suggesting that any individual hijab-wearer would kill anyone. But neither will she necessarily oppose those who exercise such rights under Sharia law.

The Supreme Court will have to carefully balance the separation of religion and state; freedom of religion; the nature of public space and business bottom lines; and individual civil rights—over and against the meaning that the Islamic headscarf may have in such dangerous times.

I eagerly await the oral arguments and the Supreme Court ruling.

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Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an emerita professor of Psychology, a Fellow at the Middle East Forum, the author of thousands of articles, four studies about honor killing and sixteen books, including “The New Anti-Semitism,” “An American Bride in Kabul," and “Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015.” She archives her articles and may be reached through her website: www.phyllis-chesler.com.

269 COMMENTS

  1. IF YOUR IN A BANK AND A MASK MAN OR A WOMAN COMES IN ; WHAT DO YOU DO? PEOPLE NEED TO START DOING JUST THAT BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW WHO IS UNDER THERE OR WHAT THEY ARE CARRYING. IN ISRAEL THEY CARRY WEAPONS AND THATS WHY THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO IT THERE. NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND AND FEW OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ALREADY MADE IT AND MAKING IT ILLEGAL. IF THAT EXTREME IS YOUR LIFE STYLE THEN YOU ARE LIVING IN THE WRONG COUNTRY.

  2. …..because NO other wearing religious clothing be it hindu, buddhist, sikh, christians, or jews or just any other, carry out ANY terrorist activity or mass mudder on innocent ppl. Plus NO other religious dressing covers their faces where eyes are ONLY visible. Don’t abuse the rights you’re given in countries not your own, just exercise your right & leave if you’re nut happy and spare this free world – America has their right for a safer existence. I believe the American ppl & the rest of the world have had just about enough of your relentless nonsense, rubbish & demands……

  3. Assimilation used to be an immigrants goal…to fit in..,yet keep religious/cultural identities in proper perspective …. Now…it seems people want to come here for “freedom” but at the same time want to keep backwards customs in play…I don’t get it!

  4. Very stupid. If you want to cover up your head, it’s ok, but when you want to cover your face than that is crazy, only cover your face in your own home. It is very scary if you see someone come in a bank or on a dark night on the streets, the person can be a robber or murder. It’s not that we are busybodies wanting to see your pretty or ugly face. We want to feel safe know who we are taking to or dealing with. All other religion you are allowed to change to other religion if you want. How come the Muslim religion cannot? It is forcing, we as humans have the right to choose or change our religion if we want to. In Muslim if you go out of the faith, you will get killed and be prosecuted. That is wrong. I know many Muslim people want to change but are very scared to change, there is no freedom in the Muslim religion. They control everything, how you dress, how you look. The important thing God loves you for what you are not how you dress. Many Muslim men or women are gay or bisexual because they are So suppressed. They are like any normal human beings, because of their religion they become like that. They mix religion and culture togather. Very Sad. Don’t give in to them and when you give in to them then they will demand for more. Like the saying “If you are in Rome do as the Romans do”. See if any ladies from the western world or Europe non Muslim go to the Arab country, they the ladies are made to cover up, now tell me is that fair, WHY don’t they not cover up their head or wrap their bodies or faces like mummies and just dress normal. what a lot of bull. Then that is fair if a Muslim women comes to a non Muslim country they must be made to dress like a western woman without all the wrapping up. Yes if a women with all the wrapping go to work and one day she decided not go to work and ask her friends or sister to take her place, than what do you say about that? They hate the western world and culture yet they love to live in the western world and all the trimming that they can get for free or demand. Why not go back to your own country with your own people of your own kind. If you want to live in the western world then you have to respect and stop criticizing the western culture, if not happy then leave. I have said enough. That’s for now. More to come.

  5. Don't you all get it? World War III is being waged and it is a totally different kind of war. This burka thing is another weapon in the Islamist world's World War III arsenal. This is being pushed by them so terrorists can move about freely to murder and cause havoc.

  6. I can only say that if I go to a store where the clerk's face is covered I would leave that store and find another, if someone appeared at my door with his/her face covered I would slam the door in their face. However, most of these women would do the public a favor if they would put a gunny sack over their face before appearing in public.

  7. That would be great, if they are working in Muslim country. However if they are working here in the US, Absolutely Not. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion it’s more of a security thing. On the other hand, if my Mother looked like most of the Muslim women I have seen I would want that face covered as well. 🙂

  8. This garb is not religious. It is tribal custom carried over and hiding behind religion. A head scarf is okay, but, when the whole body is covered, there is no way to tell who or what is under there. In any case, it is tribal and NOT religious. According to one of their own scholars, it was only Muhammad's wives who were required to wear such coverings.

  9. And i speak for and with millions of other UNITED STATES of AMERICAN CITIZENS, That all muslims should go home and take that muslim bastard BARAC MUHAMMED HUSSEIN OBSMA that is in the White House with them!!!!!!!! Thats why the muslims are running ammuck in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, wake up idiot muslims and BARAC MUMAMMED HUSSEIN OBAMA, this isn’t Great Britan!!!!!!!!!

  10. If a teacher could lose her job for wearing the Star of David, then it should not be permitted for these women to wear their garb at work. If they want to wear this at home or at their place of worship, that is no problem but they need to understand if the live in the US they are not under the Sharia laws.

  11. We don’t want you here anyway! Save U.S Tax payer the cost of dragging it through the court system. If they get there way ( Which is what they want) next it will open the doors to Shira Law! Screw them! And kick there ass’s OUT of this Country!

  12. Ultimately it has nothing to do with religion. It is a national security risk for anyone to walk or work in public with their face covered, unless they just came out of plastic surgery, in which case they should just stay home until it heals.you have good points about the coverings burqua and hijab, being a health hazard as well as masking five senses, and also the open door for the increasingly unreasonable accomodation demands of the Muslim community, but it all comes back to, its unsafe and unfair to the rest fo us.no running around hiding who you are

  13. The CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES GUARANTEES FREEDOM OF RELIGION, TO EVERYONE WITHIN HER BORDERS!!! I REFUSE to deny ANYONE that RIGHT simply because they have a faith different than mine. Another point I will attempt to make is this, very few of us DO NOT have ancestors who didn’t come here from a foreign country. Shall we all head back to the country of our ancestors? Didn’t they come here for a valid reason?

  14. It seems like a slam dunk to me. … Under that full body burka will some day be a male or female bomber and it could be a President (Republican of course) or a Supreme Court( Republican) Justice or a Jewish Temple and "boomb" no more Burkas – so vote it down now before they kill hundreds more Americans ! What's there to think about ?

  15. Speaking from a practical, hygienic, and safety point, the full face covering (niqab) and the burka are not tenable at the workplace in western countries. I have worked as a medical professional for over 30 years, and, for example, when a patient, who is vulnerable because of illness, wakes up from anesthesia, seeing someone dressed all in sinister black with their face covered can be extremely distressful and threatening. Thus, I am totally against the wear of this garb in the work place, especially in medical and service professions.

  16. Not American Culture. In the early years of our Country we had no laws to protect wives from beatings or marital rape, it was acceptable to beat a child, slavery was considered acceptable and necessary, women did not have the right to vote or hold public office, if you needed a tooth pulled, a trip to the barber was where you went (yes I did mean to say barbershop) times, fashions, ideas, everything changes.

  17. First of all, it’s scarry looking. 2nd it could be dangerous in many situations. 3rd It’s abnormal attire. No man would walk around inhibited like that, and 4th no we will not allow this kind of mandatory garb to spread to our culture. 5th throw the case out of court, go home and wear anything you want.

  18. Shariah law has no place in the U. S. You really need to do your research into islam. You’ll find that islam is not just a religion but also a political conviction, all tied together inclusively, no separation. Their one goal is world domination, they believe that totally.
    Read for yourself, read the Koran for yourself.

  19. Don’t they have a right to do so as they and others have a right to cover whatever they wish to cover? why don’t other faiths walk naked if they had not a right to stay covered? give them their right that is how they wish to serve their Allah.

  20. Kristi. As you say “in the early years”. Yup but thinks change, the enlightenment happened and if you Are religious the bible isn’t taken literally. However many in the Islamic community, not all granted, want Sharia law. In Europe some countries have started to implement sharia courts. So women lose out on inheritance rights, beatings are accepted, honor killings. So take what women have achieved in obtaining near equal rights and flush it down the toilet,

  21. The full Niqab is not accepted in Turkey and Tunisia. It is not written in the Koran that a woman must cover her face. The Niqab is a traditional Bedouin dress, for practical use of living in desert conditions. No it’s not practical for a Western society. Just as walking down the street topless is unacceptable. Seeing someone’s face is about safety.

  22. The full Niqab is not accepted in Turkey and Tunisia. It is not written in the Koran that a woman must cover her face. The Niqab is a traditional Bedouin dress, for practical use of living in desert conditions. No it’s not practical for a Western society. Just as walking down the street topless is unacceptable. Seeing someone’s face is about safety.

  23. Muslim women are no different then any American and in AMERICA we do not wear shrouds to work…They want to go to an Arab countryto wear shrouds…Oh I forgot they are not even allowed to work in those countries..or drive a car..or go to school or be seen by anyone except her husband..

  24. The problem is they are evil. They hide behind that vail. But underneath they are hiding something evil. I am not saying they are all like that. Some of them are forced to dress like that read my comment underneath. I Have Really Bad Experience With them in iran. I don’t trust any of them think about it who would want to walk around like that in the summer unless you have been brain washed or forced or you are hiding something.

  25. The problem is they are evil. They hide behind that vail. But underneath they are hiding something evil. I am not saying they are all like that. Some of them are forced to dress like that read my comment underneath. I Have Really Bad Experience With them in iran. I don’t trust any of them think about it who would want to walk around like that in the summer unless you have been brain washed or forced or you are hiding something.

  26. You are correct Donald. How will anyone know if it's a man or woman under the burka? My option doesn't count but it really inferiorates me so much about these Muslims suing everyone they come in contact with for anything. And they seem to be winning. They are all money hungry blood suckers that have absolutely No respect for any other religion then theirs. Just evil!

  27. I have no problem with the hijab, because in the case of committing a crime, the individual is still identifiable. Same for kippa (Jewish men's skullcap), Jewish women's wigs or headgear, people wearing crucifixes, or Christian priestly costume, or Sikh turbans, etc. etc. Not so with the niqab or the burqa, because those DO hide the identity of the person. There is at least one crime on record of men robbing a bank while wearing burqas, and they were completely unidentifiable. In this case, the rights and needs of the community override the rights and needs of the individual. Religious freedom only extends as far as the rights of the general society not to be harmed.

  28. Either you support freedom of religion or you don’t. It’s not freedom of Christian religions only. You can’t pick and choose. I have issues with identification of an individual testifying in court who is completely unidentifiable, but until you ban all forms of external religious affiliation from public places, Americans who support religious freedom better get used to seeing head scarves

  29. Jewish, Christian, Budist, Athiest and the list goes on and on. Please let’s focus our attention in a more pair positive fashion. America is about living in peace with our differences. It’s painful still to look at someone in a burqa but not every Muslim is an extremist.

  30. The hijab does not cover the face, so is acceptable to me. Other religions that require head coverings don't cover the face. The burqa covers everything and the mask covers the face. The burqa, in particular, can be abused by people carrying weapons underneath, by men who want to disguise themselves. Masks and full body coverings should not be allowed in places where security is an issue such as banks. We don't let people wear ski masks in banks because they are probably robbers. We don't let people wear ski masks in court because we can't see their facial expression. IMO an employer should be free to deny employment if they have notified the applicant that, for example, visible tattoos, nose rings, plates in the ears, masks, hats, are unacceptable in their employees. But, if the employer hires someone who wears a hijab and then decides to change their dress code, there might be a problem. So, employers, decide who you want to hire to present to the public and make it clear who you won't hire. If the employee decides to wear a hijab after being hired (if they converted to Islam, for example), they would have to weigh their employment opportunity if they decide to violate a dress code that says no hats.

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